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Japan will build a space elevator

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Japan Will Have a Space Elevator by 2050

It might the stuff of science fiction dreams, but a Japanese construction company has announced that it will have built a working space elevator by 2050. Where can I join the queue?

According to the The Daily Yomiuri, construction company Obayashi Corp has announced it will have built a space elevator capable of shuttling passengers 36,000 kilometers above the Earth by 2050.

The company plans to use carbon nanontubes, which are 20 times stronger than steel, to produce the cables required for the elevator. Those cables will be stretched to a counterweight 96,000 kilometers above our planet, about one-fourth of the distance between the Earth and the moon.

The terminal station, 36,000 kilometers above Earth, will be reached by cars that can carry 30 people and travel at 200 kilometers per hour. An Obayashi official said:

"At this moment, we cannot estimate the cost for the project. However, we'll try to make steady progress so that it won't end just up as simply a dream."

I can estimate the cost: ridiculously, needlessly expensive. But I don't much care: I mean, it's a space elevator.

I loved these comments-

If the anchors on earth or the cables snap, will the people that are at the top fall back down to earth or be flung into space?

Is it really a good idea to build something that tall in a place that has so many earthquakes?

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Remember Nimrod?

Do you remember Arthur C. Clarke? How about a book called - 2061: Odyssey Three - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2061:_Odyssey_Three

It ends with something similar, but they had to build this out of diamonds from Jupiter.

We do realize that all of this is Science "FICTION" - right?

It is not physically possible nor financially feasible to construct enough nano tubes to accomplish something like this. But maybe if there really were enough diamonds on Jupiter ........

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I will buy that book.

Who knows, if Armageddon is still not around, they can build it the way they want it. I am so much interested in high rise buildings. :) The riches are competing to build higher buildings to be destroyed in the end. But for the mean time, I wish to go there and see. :sunshine:

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Oh, I belive it's not only possible, but it's the best way to go.

I just don't believe we have the technology to do it now. This will be something for the New System.

And, if the cable snaps the top part is flung out of orbit and the rest of the cable crashes back to Earth, killing millions. Such an event was depicted in Kim Stanley Robinson's "Mars" trilogy (Red Mars, Blue Mars, Green Mars) and in Ben Bova's "Grand Tour" series of books.

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